Supply chain troubles? Three simple strategies restaurant owners can use to weather the storm.


Nearly one-and-a-half years into the pandemic foodservice is still managing through supply chain challenges. Issues are popping up in the form of rising prices and stock outs. Gasoline, plastics, commodity meats, and grains have all seen price spikes, and substitutions from distributors are becoming commonplace. This problem has become so pervasive that 44% of restaurant owners have reported having supply chain issues in the last month.

We’ve put together a couple different strategies so your restaurant can continue to run smoothly despite inevitable fluctuations in the supply chain by using these 3 easy-to-implement strategies.

Diversify Your Supplier List

Proactively reach out to your backup suppliers for your most used ingredients. 

Ranking this list of backups based on the criteria that are most important to you (quality of ingredients, quantity, delivery speed, etc.) will make it easy to create an implementable plan to combat complications with your suppliers.

Engineer Your Menu 

Trim down and simplify your menu to reduce your risk of stock outs. Your distributor may inform you that certain items or brands are going to be consistently substituted for one reason or another. 

If you have line of site to the items that are hardest for your distributor to keep in stock, you can engineer your menu to reduce your risk of an unexpected stock out at the wrong time. Obviously, you want to be careful with this strategy as it affects the customer’s experience...but, you have to balance that risk with the negative diner experience of being told that your “all out” of an item that appears on your menu. 

Leverage Data

Track demand for your dishes and stay ahead of trends by understanding the basics of your restaurant’s analytics and following industry publications. This allows you to stay ahead of the game and make sure you're adequately prepared to respond to any fluctuations in the supply chain.

A couple of good resources to stay on top of the game are:

https://www.nrn.com

https://www.restaurantdive.com/

Supply chain fluctuations can be one of the most challenging things a restaurant manager has to face, taking these 3 strategies and applying them to your restaurant can help save you time, money, and stress. 


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